Florida native, ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader advances on NBC's The Voice
Tampa Bay area fans of The Voice now have a Florida singer to support.
Donna Allen, a native of Key West who grew up in Tampa and was once a cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, stunned two of the judges in NBC’s Emmy-winning singing competition in an episode aired Monday.
Pop diva Christine Aguilera and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine both turned their chairs around during Allen’s performance of You Are So Beautiful – a rendition of the ballad she delivered in the style of blue-eyed soul singer Joe Cocker.
The Voice features competition between teams of singers picked by the show’s four celebrity judges; neither Cee Lo Green nor Blake Shelton turned their chairs around for Allen, signifying they wanted her on their team, but both complimented her performance.
According to several online biographies for Allen, she was a onetime cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who sang with the bands Hi-Octane and Trama before spending nine years as a backup singer for Miami-based pop star Gloria Estefan. Songs from her ‘80s-era solo albums have landed on soundtracks for the film The Specialist and Precious; she’s also worked with Shakira, Jon Secada, Jennifer Lopez and R&B singer Howard Hewitt.
In that way, Allen fits the mold perfectly for a contestant on The Voice, which has often featured competitors with experience in the music business but not enough fame to be known to much of the viewing audience.
Now living in Holiday, Fla., Allen picked Levine as her coach, despite the fact that Aguilera turner her chair around first -- within seconds of hearing her voice -- and has built a career out the kind of vocal pyrotechnics the Florida native employed during her audition.
See her performance above: